Swansea captain Williams: World-class Bale is the best I've ever played with

The Swans' defender is hoping the Tottenham winger has not recovered in time to play against his side on Sunday, and hailed his Welsh team-mate as one of the best in the world
Swansea captain Ashley Williams is hoping that "world-class" Gareth Bale has not recovered from a hamstring injury in time for the Swans' clash against Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.

The Wales star is in contention for a return to the squad after injuring himself against Fulham at the start of December, but while Williams insists the pair are friends, he would rather not play against the Spurs winger.

And the Swansea captain heaped praise on the 23-year-old as Andre Villas-Boas' side search for a Champions League spot, describing Bale as "the best player I've ever played with."

"[Bale's] a mate and I don't like to see him injured. But, for the team, I'd rather he didn't play - because he's world-class," Williams told reporters.

"Bale is just outstanding, he's the best player I've ever played with. On his day, he's just unstoppable. He can score goals, he can create chances for others, he's got everything."

The Spurs player has six goals and four assists in the Premier League this season, and in January was voted into the Uefa Team of the Year 2011 after exceptional performances in the Champions League.

Even if Bale doesn't pass the fitness test for Sunday, Williams insists his side will have to be wary of a Tottenham side full of attacking talent - more so than Spurs' local rivals Arsenal, whom the Swans defeated 2-0 at the Emirates on 1 December: "This will be tougher. Tottenham have so many quality players going forward," he added.